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Fisher, K. et al. (2013) Taking Shape: Supporting Preschoolers' Acquisition of Geometric Knowledge Through Guided Play (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Shape knowledge, a key aspect of school readiness, is part of early mathematical learning. Variations in how children are exposed to shapes may affect the pace of their learning and the nature of their shape knowledge. Building on evidence suggesting that child-centered, playful learning programs facilitate learning more than other methods, 4- to 5-year-old children (N = 70) were taught the properties of four geometric shapes using guided play, free play, or didactic instruction. Results revealed that children taught shapes in the guided play condition showed improved shape knowledge compared to the other groups, an effect that was still evident after 1 week. Findings suggest that scaffolding techniques that heighten engagement, direct exploration, and facilitate “sense-making,” such as guided play, undergird shape learning.

Date:
January 2013
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
n/a–n/a
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Experimental
  • Free play
  • Learning
  • Playful learning
  • Pre-academic skills
  • Guided-play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Johnstone, A. et al. (2017) Pragmatic evaluation of the Go2Play Active Play intervention on physical activity and fundamental movement skills in children (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Active play is a novel approach to addressing low physical activity levels and fundamental movement skills (FMS) in children. This study aimed to determine if a new school-based, ‘Go2Play Active Play’ intervention improved school day physical activity and FMS. This was a pragmatic evaluation conducted in Scotland during 2015–16. Participants (n = 172; mean age = 7 years) were recruited from seven primary schools taking part in the 5-month intervention, plus 24 participants not receiving the intervention were recruited to act as a comparison group.189 participants had physical activity measured using an Actigraph GT3X accelerometer at baseline and again at follow-up 5 months later. A sub-sample of participants from the intervention (n = 102) and comparison (n = 21) groups had their FMS assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-2) at baseline and follow-up. Changes in school day physical activity and FMS variables were examined using repeated measures ANOVA. The main effect was ‘group’ on ‘time’ from baseline to follow-up. Results indicated there was a significant interaction for mean counts per minute and percent time in sedentary behavior, light intensity physical activity and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (all p < 0.01) for school day physical activity. There was a significant interaction for gross motor quotient (GMQ) score (p = 0.02) and percentile (p = 0.04), locomotor skills score and percentile (both p = 0.02), but no significant interaction for object control skills score (p = 0.1) and percentile (p = 0.3). The Go2Play Active Play intervention may be a promising way of improving physical activity and FMS but this needs to be confirmed in an RCT.,


Active play is a promising way of increasing children's physical activity levels.


Active play is a promising way of improving children's fundamental movement skills.


Active play generates high levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity.


Active play emphasises fun, which is key to engaging children in physical activity.

Date:
January 2017
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
7
Page/s:
58-63
Synonyms:
  • Games with rules
  • Outdoor play
  • Physical health
  • Physical play
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: